Comerica Bank boosted its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 2.6% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 275,204 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 6,966 shares during the period. Comerica Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $14,248,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Webster Bank N. A. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 15.3% during the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,509 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $78,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.4% during the first quarter. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee now owns 14,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $736,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Resources Management Corp CT ADV increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Resources Management Corp CT ADV now owns 11,261 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $494,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 18,260 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $802,000 after acquiring an additional 205 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Montecito Bank & Trust increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.0% during the fourth quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust now owns 7,135 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $314,000 after acquiring an additional 210 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.48% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $52.20 on Thursday. Southern Co has a twelve month low of $42.42 and a twelve month high of $53.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 0.88. The company has a market capitalization of $55.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 0.21.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70. Southern had a net margin of 15.03% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.66 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 78.18%.
In other Southern news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total value of $1,633,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 56,157 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,779,771.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total value of $11,975,035.33. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 354,212 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 292,399 shares of company stock worth $14,923,207. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
SO has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, February 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.54.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.
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